September 19, 2012

"BSkyB does not have a monopoly in the UK pay-TV movie market"

According to the Competition Committee's report from August "BSkyB does not have a monopoly in the UK pay-TV movie market". Whilst that may be literally true with services like BlinkBox, LoveFilm and Netflix now available in the UK, it's not true of new movies with the announcement that Sky has now secured exclusive UK rights to new releases from all of the "big six" Hollywood studios (Warner Bros, Disney, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures and Universal Studios).
So Sky will have the UK rights to the films for more than a year before rivals such as Netflix and Amazon-owned LoveFilm. There are exceptions such as the per per view services from BT Vision and Virgin Movies, but Sky has the subscription side 100% sewn up. It will be impossible for the fledgling services to compete.
Different game, same story...

2 comments:

Phil Baxter said...

It's only a monopoly if all you want to watch are mainstream American imports. If you want to watch other, better films, then Sky has little to offer.

Personally I find I watch an awful lot of content from Studio Canal and Momentum. The former has a deal with LoveFilm, and the latter with Netflix.

Jon said...

The whole market needs an overhaul, not only by regulators, but by the companies themselves if they want online subscriptions to take off.

For years it has been possible to subscribe for DVD by post and, apart from a few high profile fallings out (LoveFilm/Universal), it has been possible to get access to all the latest movies and TV. The online market is developing in a way that would require multiple subscriptions to get the same service.

This cannot be right. It will just cripple the uptake for all services. Your local DVD rental store/retail/bookstore has never differentiated itself by exclusive access to particular titles. Nor should online services.